United States Women’s national team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will miss the bronze medal game against Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after injuring her right knee during the semifinal loss to Canada.
The news comes as a fresh blow to the USWNT, who lost 1-0 after Naeher was forced off with the injury in the 22nd minute.
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The USWNT confirmed in a statement that Naeher “suffered a hyperextension of her right knee and a bone contusion.” Following an MRI scan, no ligament damage was revealed but the 33-year-old will be unavailable for Thursday’s game against Australia.
“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to be on the field Thursday with my teammates competing for a medal, but I know this group will bounce back from a tough loss,” Naeher said. “I can’t wait to watch them fight for a bronze medal and I will be here to support the team in any way I can to help us get it done.”
Naeher was the USWNT’s star player in the quarterfinal win over the Netherlands. She saved Lieke Martens’ penalty in normal time and then saved two spot kicks in the shootout to help the USWNT through to the semifinals.
Adrianna Franch is set to deputize after coming off the substitutes’ bench to replace Naeher vs. Canada.